Some people may be tossing and turning at night and waking up in the morning feeling tired. Others may feel like they’re getting enough sleep, but wake up the next morning with an achy and sore body. All these are indications that you’re sleeping on the wrong kind of pillow.
As you get older, you’ll spend around one-third of your life with your head on a pillow. At this point, you’ll realize that choosing the right pillow is important. A pillow should suit your body type, health, and how you sleep during the night.
If you’ve been ignoring the quality of your pillows, it’s time to change your mindset. A good pillow will help you get good sleep at night. When you sleep on the right pillow, you’re more confident that you’ll get a good night’s rest. If you feel that your sleep habits need changes, now is the right time to make the necessary adjustments. Make it possible by getting the right type of pillow.
Vital Role Of A Good Pillow For Sleep And Health
Getting a good night’s sleep every night is a key factor for living a healthy life. If you want to get quality sleep, it requires the right sleeping conditions. One of the key elements is using a pillow that meets your specific needs. For most people, they are not aware that pillows have a specific role in their sleep. Remember that pillows have a big impact on your quality of sleep and well-being.
Your pillow has three basic functions:
- Providing support to the neck and upper back while at rest: Proper support is essential since the human spine has a natural curve. The support offered by a pillow helps maintain the correct alignment of the spine. Sleeping without proper support has a detrimental impact on your sleep. It can also result in stiffness of the back and neck.
- Providing support for spinal issues: It may be even more important for you to find the right kind of pillow if you’re suffering from a spinal disorder or problem. Having a good pillow goes a long way in improving not only your spine’s health but your sleep’s overall quality at night. Sleep is a way for the body to heal itself after all. Therefore, your body can’t use the time you spend sleeping to do what needs to be done if your sleep quality is lacking or if you’re not getting enough sleep.
- Providing a better level of comfort: As for the comfort level, it is more subjective and depends on the preferences of a person. Several factors such as body size, sleep positions and health conditions play a role. These factors will help you choose the type of pillow you will be comfortable with.
Pillows not only play an essential role during your sleep but should also suit your needs. If you want to get a pillow that provides the best benefits, always focus on support as a key element. A good pillow that is supportive but yet comfortable will improve sleep and prevent neck and back problems.
A Guide On Selecting The Right Pillow
Choosing a pillow is an individual process that depends on your personal preferences. If you’re selecting a good pillow to improve your sleep, remember that the decision depends on your specific needs. Follow your instincts to find out what feels right and comfortable.
Here are some crucial factors to help you make your choice:
- Your Sleeping Position
Your sleeping position matters a lot when it comes to choosing a good pillow. Check out the following tips below:
- Back sleepers: Choose a pillow that supports the natural curvature of the neck. In particular, look for pillows that are thin and flat. Wedge pillows are also a great choice for providing ample support while you’re sleeping on your back. You can place the wedge on the mattress horizontally to provide a gentle slope. It’ll elevate your body’s upper portion and make it more comfortable for the rest of your body.
- Side sleepers: While it’s true that side sleepers already have a healthy position to sleep in, care should still be taken to keep body’s curves and weight well supported for spinal alignment. Look for a pillow that maintains the alignment of the neck. A contoured pillow with firm support is a good choice. Side sleepers should also place a pillow between their legs. The extra pillow keeps the spine in good alignment and reduces the strain from sleeping on their side.
- Stomach sleepers: Choose a thin pillow to prevent unwanted elevation to the head and placing strain on the neck. Placing a pillow under the stomach can help prevent lower back pain.
- Fill or fiber
Although it’s incredibly important to understand your sleep position needs, personal preference is almost, if not equally, as important. The types of materials and fill used in pillow construction, among many other factors, influence your sleep almost as much as comfort does.
There are various fill options for pillows. Each type has its own share of advantages and drawbacks. Here are some of the common types of fills:
- Buckwheat: If you’re looking for organic bedding, it might be time to try out an aromatherapy buckwheat pillow. Buckwheat is a plant, and the hull of its fruit is a breathable and low-maintenance filling option.
- Down: A pillow that has down as a fill is soft and light. The down usually comes from either duck or goose fibers. Take note that goose down is softer than duck down and more expensive. The down pillows in the market can include a combination of down and other fillings. Good quality down pillows are more expensive, but a good investment.
- Synthetic down: Pillows with synthetic down are a more affordable option than natural, hypoallergenic down pillows.
- Polyester fill: As an inexpensive option, pillows with polyester fill range from medium to soft, and they’re likely to flatten over time. You need to replace them more often compared to other types of pillows to ensure comfort.
- Wool: Pillows with wool as filling are hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and mold. The pillows can wick away moisture from your head and neck. They’re also effective in regulating your temperature while sleeping. Wool pillows are firmer and can last for a long time. If you’re looking for a less firm option, choose alpaca wool.
- Cotton: Pillows with cotton filling are hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and dust mites. They’re the ideal choice for people with chemical sensitivities and allergies. Most are somewhat firm and flat.
- Latex: Latex pillows have a firm structure that hold their shape but still ensures comfort. The pillows are resistant to dust mites and mold. There are variants with a contoured shape for extra support to the head and neck. Others have designs that aims on limiting movement during sleep.
- Memory foam: In recent years, memory foam pillows are gaining popularity. The pillows conform to the individual shape of a person. They soften and conform to the shape of your head, neck and shoulders, as a response of the material to your body heat and weight. This material also helps distribute your weight. Memory foam pillows are a good choice for individuals suffering from head and neck pain.
- Weight of the filling
Another factor that influences sleep is fill weight. Synthetic and down variants are good choices if you want a lightweight pillow. If you’re looking for something heavier, try latex or memory foam.
- Quality of the filling
With any type of pillow, the quality is a vital factor to ensure that best comfort, support, and longevity. Generally, the price is the reflection of its quality—the higher price tag, the better the quality. As a rule of thumb, go for the highest quality that your budget will allow. Remember that you’ll spend long hours on that pillow every night.
Sizes generally range from toddler to king and body-sized pillows. Standard and standard/queen sizes are the most common. While king or body-sized pillows are used for specific body support, larger bodies, or to fit a particular bed’s size.
It’s essential to note that pillow size should work well with your sleep position, body type, and preferences. A standard-size pillow is usually enough for most people. For those who prefer a bigger one, make sure that it can help you maintain proper posture while sleeping. The thinness or thickness should allow you to sleep with proper alignment of your spine. You’ll also find pillows in specialty shapes that provide extra support and stability.
Another thing to remember is that the pillow cover and pillowcase should fit. Avoid stuffing a large pillow into a small cover or use a large pillowcase on a standard-size pillow.
When covering your pillows, go for natural, breathable fabrics. Pillow covers can help prolong its lifespan and protect against sweat and stains.
Synthetic materials such as polyester and memory foam undergo chemical processes. Some types of pillows may also go through antimicrobial treatments.
A Closer Look At Buckwheat Pillows
To manufacture buckwheat pillows, the three-sided buckwheat seed undergoes de-hulling, or the removal of the seed. The process leaves behind the two-sided shell, which are then used as pillow fill. Take a closer look at a finished buckwheat pillow product through this video:
Some of the benefits of buckwheat as a filling for pillows include:
- Breathability: Buckwheat as a filling is resistant to pressure and doesn’t hold heat. The filling promotes air circulation, and is the ideal choice for warm and humid bedrooms. Additionally, the shape provides better support to your head and shoulders.
- Low-maintenance: Buckwheat pillows are the best choice if you’re looking for low-maintenance pillows. Although it’s a breathable material, buckwheat can end up damp from regular use. You can deal with this issue by washing the covers in a washing machine, then laying them under the sun and airing them out.
In case of liquid spills, replace the hulls that have been damaged. With proper maintenance, buckwheat pillows can last for ten years or longer.
- Adequate support: Most people are side sleepers, but without the right support, it puts one at risk for shoulder and back pain. One way to solve this issue is to use a buckwheat pillow which adjusts according to your posture and body shape. For back sleepers, the pillow will support your skull and fill the space under your neck. As for stomach sleepers, you can avoid discomfort by using a buckwheat pillow with less filling. The hulls will distribute and allow your body to assume a more neutral position.
- Adjustable: The buckwheat hulls in the pillows shift and adjust to conform to your form, ensuring proper alignment of your body while sleeping. The three-dimensional shape of the hulls makes the pillows adjustable. They can help prevent neck or back pain and reduce snoring.
- Safe for the environment: Buckwheat is a renewable, biodegradable material. It won’t harm the environment upon disposal.
- Free of odor: Among individuals who have scent-sensitivities, the pillows are a good choice. The pillows are free of strong or unpleasant odors that synthetic pillows have. Buckwheat pillows have a slight earthy smell so you’ll enjoy a relaxing and deep sleep. You can also apply your favorite essential oils on them, if you prefer scented pillows.
- Minimal Noise: Buckwheat hulls produce minimal noise when they rub against each other. The sound is only noticeable when adjusting the pillow. The pillows won’t flatten during the night, so there’s minimal need for adjustments. For some people, the rustling sound can be soothing, allowing them to sleep better.
A pillow is vital in achieving the ideal sleeping conditions. Using the right one under your head can ensure a restful and comfortable sleep. There are different pillow types available in the market. You can find them in different sizes, types of filling, weight, fill quality, and fabric.
Finding the right pillow as your nightly companion will ensure good sleep and help improve your health in the long run. Look for a supportive yet comfortable pillow for a better sleeping experience.